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Commonwealth Games: Clegg strikes gold in 100m

Scotland's Libby Clegg with guide runner Mikail Huggins after their win in the T11/12 100m. Picture: Neil Hanna

Scotland's Libby Clegg with guide runner Mikail Huggins after their win in the T11/12 100m. Picture: Neil Hanna

LIBBY Clegg secured Scotland’s first athletics gold of these Commonwealth Games in style by romping home to T11/12 100 metres victory at a raucous Hampden Park.

The visually-impaired 24-year-old and guide Mikail Huggins had to settle for silver at London 2012, but there was no stopping Clegg topping the podium in Glasgow.

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She was out of the blocks far quicker than her three opponents and was roared over the line by the partisan crowd in a world-leading 12.20 seconds.

The Scot’s nearest rival was more than a second away and the gold brought Scotland’s medal haul to 33, equalling their best ever Commonwealth Games tally from Edinburgh in 1986.

“It feels incredible,” Clegg said. “It was an absolutely fantastic experience. I loved every second of it.

“The crowd were just phenomenal. The cheers they were giving us were just amazing and really uplifting. It definitely helped my performance.

“It is completely different from the Paralympics or the World Championships. Just the amount of support we have got from everyone has just been unbelievable, really. I don’t know how else I can describe it.”

Clegg clearly enjoyed herself, celebrating with everyone from old school friends to her parents and boyfriend’s uncle during a lengthy lap of honour.

The only dampener on this fine evening was the fact that guide Huggins does not get a gold medal as well.

“It is a slight disappointment for me, but he’ll be on the podium with me as always,” Clegg said of her English guide. “It is just one of those things. We can’t change it.

“I think there would have been an issue with Mikail guiding me if he was to get a medal as he is not Scottish, even though he has done a very good job and worn a kilt.”

Huggins was coy on the subject as he did not want to draw any attention away from their achievements.

“At the end of the day, that is the way the system is,” he said, with a Scottish flag draped over his shoulders.

“I think hopefully we can change that and people can recognise that the athlete and the guide are as one. We are a team.”

 

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